What postnatal care does my health insurance cover?
Having a baby comes with lots of exciting decisions! There are a few decisions you can make ahead of time when it comes to your baby’s health care.
After my babies were born, it seemed like I had to make a whirlwind of choices and decisions. There were exciting ones, like finalizing our baby names. And there were some not so exciting but equally important ones, like what to do with our health insurance.
A few important decisions when it comes to your health insurance are:
- Finding a doctor for your baby that your health insurance will help pay for (in your network).
- Adding your baby to your health insurance plan, or a publicly funded insurance plan.
- Understanding how much you’ll pay for care, for yourself and your little one.
How do I find a doctor for my baby?
If there’s one thing every new parent quickly finds out, it’s that you’ll be in the doctor’s office a lot with your new baby. From well-checks to ear infections, funky rashes and pink eye, those little ones seem to get everything under the sun. While you’re pregnant, it’s important to find a provider you trust to care for your baby.
Here are a few tips:
- Use your health plan’s online account to find a doctor or clinic that’s on the list of providers your health insurance will help pay for (in your network). This way you’ll make sure to pay the least amount possible for unexpected care.
If you have HealthPartners insurance: Check your costs and coverage in your online account
- Use your health plan’s cost estimates to see what you’ll pay for a variety of visits, like an earache or office visit. This will give you a sense of what you might pay when you take your little one in.
When and how do I add my baby to my health insurance plan?
You’ll need to add your baby to your health insurance plan. This is often confusing to new parents. Having a baby is considered a “qualifying life event,” so you don’t have to wait until the end of the year to make changes to your insurance policy.
Once your baby is born, contact your health insurance plan’s member services. They can help get your baby added to your plan and walk you through anything additional that you need to do. Most health insurance plans will only allow you to add your baby within 30 days of his/her birth.
If you want to explore other health insurance options for your baby, you can see if your child might qualify for a government funded insurance plan, like the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP).
Your baby will get its own insurance card. Show this card at any clinic or hospital where you’re getting care for your baby.
What is postnatal care?
All care you receive after your baby is born and you leave the hospital or birthing center is considered postnatal care. Similar to prenatal care, you shouldn’t have to pay anything for routine postnatal care. That is, as long as you visit a provider who’s in your network.
Examples of postnatal care include:
- For mom – in-network, routine office visits with your provider; some lab work depending on the type of postnatal visit. You may also have coverage for help with breastfeeding by a lactation consultant or other professional.
- For baby – in-network, routine office visits with your baby’s doctor, like well-child checkups and immunizations.
How will we be billed?
After your baby is born, the hospital costs and medical services for your baby will be billed separately from your costs. This means you’ll get two different/separate explanations of benefits and bills. One set for your services and one set for your baby’s services during your inpatient hospital stay.
Your baby’s medical expenses will be covered by health insurance once you add him/her to a health insurance plan. Don’t worry, your baby’s coverage effective date is retroactive to his/her date of birth.
If you have any questions before or after your baby is born, call your member services. They’ll help you through the process and make sure you can enjoy your new bundle of joy.
About Barb Breher
Barb Breher is a leader in the Member Services department at HealthPartners. She specializes in individual and family health plans. Barb loves helping members understand and use their coverage (it’s confusing!). When she’s not working, she loves relaxing and camping with her husband and two young daughters. Minnesota locals: she highly recommends Voyageurs National Park.